Pope Beatifies 6 and Tells of Their Secret

Polish Prince Among Those Honored

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VATICAN CITY, APRIL 25, 2004 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II beatified a priest, four women religious and a laywoman, and said they discovered that "love for Christ is the secret of holiness."



The Pope pronounced the long formula of beatification of the six -- a Pole, a Spaniard, a Mexican, a Colombian, an Italian and a Portuguese -- in Latin, in a clear and strong voice, before 20,000 pilgrims gathered today in St. Peter's Square.

The unifying element of these six lives, the Holy Father said at the end of his homily, was the knowledge that the "love for Christ is the secret of holiness."

Amid applause, John Paul II exhorted: "Let us follow the example of these blessed! Like them, let us offer a consistent testimony of faith and love in the living and working presence of the Risen One!"

During the homily, the Pope highlighted some of the most important aspects of the lives of the new blessed, who join the 477 saints and 1,331 blessed he has proclaimed in his 25-year pontificate.

The Pontiff began by recalling the figure of Augustus Czartoryski (1858-1893), son of Princess Maria Amparo Munoz de Vista Alegre, daughter of the then queen consort and regent of Spain, and Ladislao Czartoryski, prince of Poland in exile. He gave up his titles of nobility to be ordained a priest in the Salesian Society of St. John Bosco.

He chose "a life of poverty to serve the littlest ones," the Holy Father said. "He fulfilled the designs of Divine Providence in a heroic way."

John Paul II then described the figure of Colombian Laura Montoya (1874-1949), founder of the Congregation of Missionaries of Mary Immaculate and St. Catherine of Siena, who dedicated her life particularly to Indians.

"Her times were not easy as social tensions, then also, bloodied her noble homeland," the Pope said. "Being inspired in her pacifying message, let us pray today that our beloved Colombia will soon enjoy peace, justice, and integral progress."

The Holy Father then recalled Mexican María Guadalupe García Zavala (1878-1963), who founded the Congregation of Handmaids of St. Margaret Mary and of the Poor, to dedicate herself "to the service of the poorest, the needy and the sick."

"With profound faith, unbounded hope and great love for Christ, Mother Lupita sought her own sanctification out of love for the Heart of Jesus and in fidelity to the Church," John Paul II said.

Italian Nemesia Valle (1847-1916), a religious of the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of St. Giovanna Antida Thouret, committed her life "to manifest the love of God to little ones, to the poor, to every man, in every part of the earth," the Pope said.

She is an "example of a luminous sanctity, reaching out to the high summits of evangelical perfection, and which is translated in simple gestures of daily life entirely spent for God," he said.

Also among the new blessed is Spaniard Eusebia Palomino Yenes (1899-1935), a religious of the Institute of Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, "a good Salesian" who was "animated by love of the Eucharist and of the Virgin," the Pope added.

"With the radical nature and consistency of her options, Sister Eusebia Palomino Yenes marked out a fascinating and demanding path of holiness for all of us and, very especially, for the young people of our time," he proposed.

Alexandrina Maria da Costa (1904-1955), a laywoman of the Union of Salesian Cooperators, relived "mystically the passion of Christ and offered herself as a victim for sinners, receiving strength from the Eucharist that became the sole nourishment of the last 13 years of her life," the Pontiff explained.

John Paul II presented the trilogy that characterized the life of this Portuguese mystic -- "suffer, love, repair" -- to the faithful so that they can "find the stimulus and motivation to ennoble everything that is painful and sad in life with the proof of greater love: to sacrifice one's life for the beloved."